BUSINESS

Jerry Storch, Toys 'R' Us CEO, To Head Up Hudson's Bay

12/17/2014 08:18 EST | Updated 02/16/2015 05:59 EST
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Gerald Storch, Chairman and CEO of Toys "R" Us, Inc., poses in the company's Times Square store on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
TORONTO - Hudson's Bay Co. (TSX:HBC) says it will have a new chief executive officer starting next month, although the man who currently holds the position will remain as governor and executive chairman of the retailing company as it explores opportunities to expand to new international markets..

Gerald (Jerry) Storch becomes CEO effective Jan. 6. He has previously been a chairman and CEO of Toys R Us, and a vice-chairman of Target — the U.S. discount retailer that acquired a foothold in Canada by taking over hundreds of locations formerly operated by HBC's Zellers subsidiary .

Storch will be responsible for HBC's overall business, which currently includes Hudson's Bay, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Home Outfitters and HBC Digital.

Current CEO Richard Baker will remain and jointly run the Office of the Chairman with Storch, who led Toys R Us through a period of expansion into electronic commerce and China.

Donald Watros has been appointed president of a new international unit, where he will focus on identifying, launching and operating expansion opportunities.

Watros will continue to report to Baker, who has held HBC's top executive position since July 2008. Prior to that he was chairman of Lord & Taylor, now one of HBC's subsidiaries.

Under Baker's leadership, HBC has divested its Zellers operations, refocused the core Hudson's Bay brand and acquired U.S luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue and its lower-priced Saks OFF 5TH.

"The board and I could not be more pleased to have Jerry, an accomplished executive with a proven track record of growing retailers through both digital and traditional channels, join us. We believe this change will enhance our growth strategy."

Also on HuffPost:

  • Target Canada
    Canadian Press
    This one, as you are probably aware, is already out the door. Target announced on Jan. 15 it is leaving the Canadian market, having lost some $2.1 billion on its whirlwind foray north of the border.
  • Jacob
    Canadian Press
    A few months ago it looked like Jacob was already gone, with the Quebec-based fashion boutique filing for bankruptcy and announcing plans to close all 92 stores. But a Quebec court has given the retailer until later this month to come up with a plan to save some of its stores.
  • Sears Canada
    Canadian Press
    The Canadian division of Sears has been bleeding money and has tried to stanch it by selling off leases to some of its highest-profile locations, not to mention layoffs by the thousands. But those moves didn’t stop the retailer from doubling its losses in the most recent quarter. The chain’s Chicago-based parent company is mulling selling the Canadian division. But in this era of big box department stores struggling against online retailers, it’s hard to see who would buy Sears Canada.
  • Reitmans
    Canadian Press
    Montreal-based Reitmans said a few years back it wasn’t worried about Target’s arrival in Canada -- it had survived Walmart and The Gap, after all. Two years later, the retailer that owns numerous fashion chains, including Smart Set, Addition Elle, RW & Co. and Penningtons, is shrinking. The company last year opened 25 new stores, but closed 58. that still leaves it with 878 stores. Profits for the 2013 fiscal year shrank by nearly 60 per cent.
  • Chapters Indigo
    vasta via Flickr
    If you've stepped into an Indigo recently, you can be forgiven for wondering whether the retailer still sells books. With e-books and online book retailers putting big-box bookstores under pressure, Indigo is busily diversifying its product offerings to include "lifestyle items" such as candles and gifts, but will it work? Indigo is growing its online sales by the double digits, but they still only account for some 10 per cent of total sales. The U.S. big box bookstore Borders closed a few years back. The idea that Canada's last remaining big box book chain could follow seems less unthinkable with every passing day.
  • Aeropostale Canada
    JeepersMedia via Flickr
    Aeropostale was a growing brand in Canada until about 2012, opening an average of nine new stores per year. But last year it began shrinking, and now has 51 stores in Canada, down from 58. The chain appears to be suffering from a potentially fatal problem: Teens don't think it's cool anymore.
  • Best Buy Canada
    JeepersMedia via Flickr
    Layoffs at Best Buy Canada and its sister chain Future Shop have numbered in the thousands over the past few years. The CEO of the Minnesota-based company described Canada this spring as a "very, very soft" market for electronics. Best Buy doesn't break out numbers for Canada, but its international division (Canada, Mexico, China) saw sales plunge 10.5 per cent in the first quarter, with same-store sales down 5.8 per cent. The chain is one of the most prominent victims of "showrooming" -- customers coming in to check out products, then buying them at lower prices from an online competitor.
  • Le Chateau
    bargainmoose via Flickr
    Le Chateau is shrinking. The chain opened one store last year, and closed seven. It now has 228 retail locations, down from 243 in 2011. The company's shares were trading at $15 as recently as 2010; they are now hovering around $1.50. Photo courtesy BargainMoose.